A hot tub spa can be enjoyed throughout the year with suitable housing. Garden buildings including summerhouses and log cabins can create the perfect shelter for privacy and warmth.
Once reserved for spa days out, hot tubs in the garden are becoming increasingly popular. In recent years, many affordable options have become available, allowing us to all enjoy the benefits without spending a fortune.
For hosting parties at home, a hot tub can be the stand out attraction during the summer months. As well as the fun and enjoyment with friends, there is a range of further benefits from hot tubs including improved sleep and stress relief.
One of the most important questions when purchasing a hot tub is where it’s going to be positioned. While it’s possible to leave it exposed in the garden, a suitable shelter is best, especially for use during the winter.
There are plenty of summerhouses and log cabins available that are suitable for a hot tub. The garden building should have plenty of ventilation on the sides and provide enough space for access into the hot tub.
Best summerhouse cabin for hot tub shelter
Lots of choices are available when finding a suitable hot tub shelter. Garden buildings can vary in everything from the type of construction to the quality of the materials. Let’s take a look at some of our favourite choices.
The Sumatran Shelter
Finding a garden building that’s the perfect size for your hot tub can be challenging. Thankfully, the Sumatran Shelter from Tiger Sheds comes in three different sizes. The smallest is 10×10 and the largest being 12×12 provides plenty of space. We like the large range at tiger Sheds due to their high-quality and stylish designs. This shelter is a great solution when good access is required. The front features plenty of room to get into the hot tub, and the sides feature large gaps to create a spacious feel.
Ventilation is essential when putting a hot tub inside a wooden garden building, and the Sumatran Shelter allows for plenty of airflow. The construction features 44mm softwood to provide a sturdy and durable structure that feels solid once assembled. An interlocking log system is used, similar to the design of a log cabin. A high apex roof allows plenty of room to move around and for steam to easily escape from the hot tub.
The Laurel Cabin
Instead of just a shelter for a hot tub, why not have additional room in the garden to use before and after? The Laurel provides shelter for a summerhouse and a 9×9 interior space inside an attached cabin. For parties in the garden, this creates the perfect environment for getting the most use out of the hot tub. The building itself uses a cabin style construction, with 28mm interlocking logs. Assembly will involve building the logs up in layers until the roof is reached. We recommend professional assembly for this building due to the complex design.
The Laurel is handmade in the UK and comes with a 10-year anti-rot guarantee. The attached cabin features large windows to let in plenty of light during the summer evenings and see-through into the hot tub area. Double glazing is also featured as standard to reduce heat loss and provide some sound insulation. Flooring is also included as standard, and there is the option to add on wood treatment from Protek, which we recommend.
Redlands Hot Tub Shelter
A well-built shelter creates the perfect environment to relax and unwind in a hot tub, even if ifs raining outside. The Redlands hot tub shelter is a great option for enjoying a hot tub throughout the year. Constructed from 44mm interlocking logs, the design is solid and installed in a similar way to a log cabin. The logs lock together tightly to protect against damp and moisture getting inside. The bottom logs come pressure treated to protect against water ingress, but the rest of the building should also be treated. We recommend using a premium wood preserver for maximum protection.
Several size options are available, depending on the dimensions of the hot tub that will be installed. The large opening allows for easy access but still provides protection from the sun during the summer or wind during bad weather. The building features a 10-year guarantee to provide peace of mind, and the wood used is from a sustainable source. An optional installation service is also available.
Palmako Melaine Corner log cabin
A sheltered porch area at the side of a traditional corner log cabin creates the perfect location for a hot tub. The Palmako Melaine cabin makes a great solution where there is plenty of space to enjoy the garden. For enjoying the garden with friends and family, this building provides plenty of space to take advantage of. The design features 28mm nordic spruce interlocking logs to provide a premium feel. A 19mm tongue & groove floor is also included, providing plenty of protection from the elements.
The corner cabin features two large windows to let in plenty of light or look outside at the views. Double glazing reduces heat loss during the colder months of the year. A key-operated lock keeps the contents inside secure when the building is not in use. A five-year guarantee is included and accessories such as rain guttering can also be selected.
Installing a summerhouse or log cabin for a hot tub shelter
Installing a garden building can be a complex process. How many of these steps you can complete yourself will depend on your level of experience constructing garden structures in the past.
Prepare the concrete base
A garden building that fits together correctly is reliant on a good base underneath. We tell everyone that’s just purchased a summerhouse or log cabin to ensure the base is solid and level before installation.
The buildings are manufactured to tight tolerances, and an uneven base could make it difficult for the panels to attach together correctly. Poorly joined walls and roofs could mean water leaks or stress on the timber that can damage the structure over time.
A solid base is more important than ever when putting a hot tub inside a summerhouse or log cabin. The hot tub alone can weigh hundreds of kilograms, before being filled up with water.
A concrete slab base or patio is the best choice for providing a solid foundation. The concrete slab will need to be installed several weeks in advance to allow enough time to dry out completely before the hot tub is placed on top.
Get electricity fitted
A hot tub requires an electricity supply that will need to be fitted nearby. All electrical work should be completed by a qualified electrician that can certify the supply is installed correctly.
Fitting electricity into an outbuilding falls under part P of the building regulations. under part P, the work is notifiable and will need to be inspected by an approved building control body if the installer is not registered.
A certificate should be provided to show the electrical work has been completed correctly. If you plan to sell the house in the future, you may need to show the certificate.
Apply a wood preserver
Timber and moisture are not the best combination, and a hot tub is going to produce huge amounts of steam and water vapour in the surrounding air. Long-term exposure to moisture without adequate ventilation can lead to mould appearing on the wood, eventually turning to rot that can lead to lasting damage.
If the options available, we recommend choosing a pressure treated garden building when ordered from the manufacturer. Pressure treatment uses a high pressured chamber to force wood preserving chemicals deep into the fibres. This provides anti-fungal properties and can increase the lifespan of the wood.
Once the summerhouse or log cabin is installed, it’s best to treat it again with a wood preserver before the hot tub is used. There are a lot of choices available including solid paints and wood stains. A wood preserver is one area where it pays to use a premium product that is going to withstand all of the moisture from the hot tub.
A wood preserver is best applied on a clear day when the wood is completely dry. Several coats are usually applied for best results, and once dry, the preserver will create a weatherproof layer between the wood and elements outside.
Leave enough space for maintenance
Garden buildings generally require maintenance every few years to keep them in their best condition. The maintenance process can include applying a fresh coating of paint and checking for any movement in the wood.
To allow enough space for maintenance, we recommend leaving a gap of at least half a metre around every side of the exterior of the structure. This will allow the air to circulate correctly on every side and protect against damp building up.
We also need to consider the size of the building in relation to the hot tub. First, there must be enough room to get the hot tub into position. This may require putting the hot tub in first before completing the installation. Once the hot tub is in use, we need enough space around the sides for easy access in and out.
Depending on the type of garden building, additional ventilation may be needed on the walls. For use with a hot tub, we recommend a log cabin or summerhouse that already has open sides to prevent the build-up of moisture.
If not all of the walls are open, and there are areas without any access to fresh air, consider fitting a passive ventilation system. A small hole can be cut in the wall and an air vent installed over it. This will allow the moist damp air to leave the summerhouse, and fresh dry air to replace it.
If all of the walls of the garden building are covered, an active ventilation system may be required. Once the use of the hot tub is finished, the building needs to be ventilated properly to avoid moisture hanging around. An example of an active ventilation system is an electrical fan that can direct airflow out of the building, quickly removing the build-up of moist air.
Guide: How to ventilate a garden building
A hot tub in the garden can provide hours of fun or a place to sit back and unwind. While the hot tub can be left in the open, placing it inside a garden building provides a range of benefits. The shelter allows for use during all weather conditions and provides privacy away from neighbours.
We recommend choosing a summerhouse or log cabin that’s specifically designed for use with a hot tub. The installation process can take a number of weeks, due to waiting for the base to dry and electricity to be installed.
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